Princeton University’s Plan to Deal With the Legacy of Woodrow Wilson

In 2015, Princeton University in New Jersey established a committee to determine how the university should deal with the legacy of the university’s thirteenth president, Woodrow Wilson. At Princeton, Wilson had refused to consider the admission of Black students. Wilson who went on to become the 28th president of the United States, racially segregated the federal government workforce and appointed White supremacists to his cabinet. He held a screening of Birth of a Nation, a film glorifying the early Ku Klux Klan, at the White House.

The university has now commissioned a historical marker that will be placed on Scudder Plaza, next to Robertson Hall, which is the home of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. The design for the monument is the work of Walter Hood, an African American artist, director of the Hood Design Studio in Oakland, California, and a professor of landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley.

Professor Hood is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. He holds a master of landscape architecture degree and a master of architecture degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He also earned a master of fine arts degree at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The installation on the Princeton campus will be entitled “Double Consciousness.” It will include two vertical columns presenting both the good and bad elements of Wilson’s legacy.


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